UK’s first solar-powered park and ride launches in Leeds

The UK’s first solar-powered park and ride project, located in Stourton on the southern approach to Leeds, aims to drastically lower commuting costs, improve air quality and heavily reduce carbon emissions.
UK’s first solar-powered park and ride launches in Leeds
Stourton Park and Ride.

The £38.5 million public transport project will consist of solar panels and innovative battery storage system that will provide energy for the entire site. Zero-emission electric buses will take people into the heart of Leeds, every 10 minutes, along dedicated bus lanes with the journey taking only 15 minutes.

Solar energy will also power 26 electric vehicle charging points. The site will provide secure cycle storage and 1,200 vehicle spaces, including dedicated disabled, family and motorcycle bays.

As the first fully solar powered park and ride in the UK, the Stourton site will primarily cater for drivers travelling to and from the city centre from the south-east area of Leeds, Wakefield and beyond - via major routes, including Junction 7 of the M621, A61 and A639.  The new facility forms part of the Connecting Leeds programme delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), and Leeds City Council.  The service will be delivered by First West Yorkshire under contract from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

To further encourage commuters to switch to public transport and experience the park and ride’s many benefits, all bus fares from Stourton park and ride this week (September 6th – 12th) will be free of charge for everyone.

When fares are introduced, the park and ride will dramatically lower the cost of the daily commute and provide a significantly cheaper alternative to the cost of city centre parking, petrol, and ongoing car ownership. Return travel to Leeds city centre will be just £3 and up to three children under 19 can travel free with a fare-paying adult. Discounts are also available if multiple return tickets are purchased in advance. A 10 percent discount is available for regular travellers using a smartcard. Free wi-fi on the electric buses will allow passengers to shop online, watch and relax as they travel.

“Being able to launch the UK’s first solar-powered park and ride is a massive achievement for Leeds and a major boost to both the local environment, economy, and the city’s public transport infrastructure” said Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire. “This is step forward in tackling the climate emergency and our wider aim of transforming the Leeds City Region into a net zero carbon economy by 2038. We hope commuters across the region will embrace the Stourton Park & Ride and opportunity to take advantage of a zero-emission journey, reduce their carbon footprint, contribute to cleaner air in the city and save themselves both time and money in the process.”

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate change, transport, and sustainable development, added that the exciting completion of Stourton Park and Ride builds on the obvious benefits of people switching to public transport use to reduce their impact on the environment.

“The solar panels really make the park and ride stand out when approaching Leeds from the south of the city” said Cllr Hayden. “The innovative battery storage system held within the park and ride build, paid for with European Regional Development Funding, will provide energy for the entire site, which will be served by electric buses.”

For additional information:

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

West Yorkshire Metro Stourton Park and Ride

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